Building a Secure World

Today marked the opening of a two-day conference and exhibition in London on counter-terrorism, ambitiously titled “Building a Secure World”. Highlights included excellent keynotes by the BBC’s star correspondent Frank Gardner OBE, and Sir Richard Mottram, Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary responsible for Intelligence, Security and Resilience. Both emphasised that the War on Terror was now primarily a battle of ideas and values, though there are other major strands including military, financial and intelligence initiatives. Clearly there is a long way to go, especially the work to influence hearts and minds.

The current UK Strategy is interesting for any security professional, comprising “4 Ps” to contain the risks: Prevent terrorism, Pursue terrorists, Protect the public (and UK interests), and Prepare for the consequences. No rocket science here but a nice, balanced set of objectives. And who should pay for all the extra security measures that Industry must implement? The UK Government policy is clear. Consumers should pay through Industry. UK companies should not expect cost sharing from Government.

Best quote of the day was from the floor: “We keep analysing the future through the rear-view mirror”. Absolutely correct and one of the main reasons we often get things wrong. I was also impressed to hear people using the more appropriate term “weapons of mass effect” rather than “weapons of mass destruction”. Now how many of our IT systems fall into that category?

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